Tillman keeps Blanton winless, O’s top Angels


By JOE RESNICK

Associated Press

ANAHEIM, Calif. — While his teammates were still flying to Southern California after a late game at Seattle, Chris Tillman was already in his own bed at his Fountain Valley home, resting up for his first start in the ballpark he used to frequent often while growing up.

Tillman returned to his hometown and outpitched Joe Blanton with eight scoreless innings of three-hit ball, right fielder Nick Markakis threw out Mike Trout at the plate, and the Baltimore Orioles beat the Los Angeles Angels 5-1 Thursday night.

“It’s special to pitch in front of your family and friends, especially a good one like this,” Tillman said. “The big thing was throwing strikes early and (to) work off my fastball command. I was a little off in the first and second inning, but Matt (Wieters) did a good job of making me throw all of my pitches, and I think that’s what got me back on track. He’s been great with me all year.”

Markakis also hit an RBI double and Nate McLouth hit a two-run homer in the ninth, a drive to center field that bounced off Trout’s glove as he jumped for it at the top of the fence.

Tillman (2-1) struck out three, walked two and retired 20 of his last 21 batters en route to his second win in two career starts against the Angels, including his first major league victory on Aug. 14, 2009 at Baltimore. The 25-year-old right-hander is 9-1 with a 2.11 ERA in 11 career starts against AL West teams.

“I think he had something like 23 out of 29 first-pitch strikes, and that was the difference,” Orioles manager Buck Showalter said. “You could tell early on he had a crisp fastball. Pitching that eighth inning was huge. I know there were about seven guys in down in the bullpen who really liked it — including the bullpen catcher.”

Blanton (0-5) allowed three runs — two earned — and eight hits over eight innings, and is winless in his first six starts of a season for the second time in his 10-year career. The right-hander was 0-5 through his first 10 starts in 2005 with Oakland.

It went a couple of games longer than I hoped it would,” Blanton said. “When things weren’t going good, you retrace your steps of things that clean you up. Hopefully it happens quick but sometimes it doesn’t. It’s just making sure I use the slope to drive me down, allow my arm to get out and really attack the bottom of the zone.”

Manny Machado’s RBI single in the third inning extended his hitting streak to 11 games. Blanton didn’t allow another hit until the sixth, when Adam Jones singled to right one pitch after fouling a ball hard off his left shin and taking some time to shake off the pain.

Chris Davis followed with a double into the right field corner, and Jones legged it all the way around — just beating second baseman Howie Kendrick’s relay from Josh Hamilton.

“Adam Jones is a tough hombre,” Showalter said. “Try taking a ball off the shin, then poking a ball into right field and scoring from first on a double. That’s a challenge. But I think that’s what a lot of people miss most about Adam. He’s a tough guy.”

The Orioles made it 3-0 in the seventh with Markakis’ two-out RBI double after a two-base throwing error by Brendan Harris, who charged Nolan Reimold’s grounder and barehanded the ball before air-mailing it into the first row behind the Orioles’ dugout.

Tillman walked two batters in the first, including Mark Trumbo on eight pitches with two out. Hamilton singled to right field on the next pitch, but Markakis charged the ball and made a perfect one-hop throw to the plate, where Wieters put the tag on Trout as he came in standing up. It was the second outfield assist by the Orioles this season and the first involving a play at home.

“The fact that we didn’t score in the first inning might have taken a little wind out of our sails,” Trumbo said. “We’ve got to get better at doing things like that. Obviously we’re not on any kind of a roll, so the small things become that much more important.”

Albert Pujols homered in the ninth inning for the Angels against closer Jim Johnson.

WHITE SOX 3, RANGERS 1

ARLINGTON, Texas — Hector Santiago allowed two hits in five-plus innings filling in for Jake Peavy, Tyler Flowers hit a three-run homer, handing the Rangers their first series loss of the season.

Flowers’ drive just inside the foul pole in left field was the third straight hit after Texas right-hander Justin Grimm (2-1) retired 10 in a row on the day he was named AL rookie of the month.

Adrian Beltre’s homer in the second was the only hit through five innings against Santiago (1-1), who had six strikeouts and two walks in 5 1-3 innings. The left-hander made his first start of the season and fifth of his career after Peavy was scratched because of back spasms.

RED SOX 3, BLUE JAYS 1

TORONTO — Ryan Dempster won his second straight start and the Red Sox took advantage of a season-high 10 walks to beat the Blue Jays 3-1.

Dempster (2-2) allowed one run and four hits in six innings. The right-hander, who walked three and struck out four, retired 10 of the final 11 batters he faced.

Winless in his first four starts this season, Dempster posted his first victory by beating Houston a week ago.

Brett Lawrie homered and Colby Rasmus had three hits but the last-place Blue Jays lost for the 12th time in 16 games.

Blue Jays left-hander J.A. Happ (2-2) allowed two runs and three hits in 3 2-3 innings, his shortest start of the season. He matched a career high with seven walks.

TIGERS 7, ASTROS 3, 14 INNINGS

HOUSTON — Don Kelly had an RBI single to start a four-run 14th inning and the Tigers beat the Astros.

The Tigers tied it in the eighth with help from right-fielder Rick Ankiel’s error.

Austin Jackson led off the 14th with a ground-rule double. Jackson advanced to third on a groundout by Torii Hunter before Houston intentionally walked Miguel Cabrera and Prince Fielder to load the bases.

Kelly’s dribbling grounder to right field scored Jackson and chased Dallas Keuchel (0-1), who came in to start the 10th.

Matt Tuiasosopo’s two-run double made it 6-3 before Detroit added a run on a sacrifice fly by Jhonny Peralta.

Luke Putkonen (1-0), who was called up from Triple-A on Thursday, allowed no hits in the last 2 1-3 innings for the win in a game that took 4 hours, 50 minutes.

ORIOLES 5, ANGELS 1

ANAHEIM, Calif. — Chris Tillman returned to his hometown and outpitched Joe Blanton with eight scoreless innings of three-hit ball, right fielder Nick Markakis threw out Mike Trout at the plate, and the Orioles beat the Angels in the opener of a four-game series.

Markakis also hit an RBI double and Nate McLouth hit a two-run homer in the ninth.

Tillman (2-1) struck out three, walked two and retired 20 of his last 21 batters.

Albert Pujols homered in the ninth inning against closer Jim Johnson.

Blanton (0-5) allowed three runs — two earned — and eight hits over eight innings.

NATIONALS 3, BRAVES 1

ATLANTA — Dan Haren pitched eight sharp innings and Denard Span hit a two-run double.

The Nationals, who snapped a nine-game losing streak to Atlanta on Wednesday, allowed their NL East rivals to get only three runners in scoring position over two nights.

Haren (3-3) won his second consecutive start, giving up four hits and one run with one walk and four strikeouts.

Washington got off to a good start in the first off Kris Medlen, breaking its 15-game streak without a first-inning run.

Medlen (1-4) lost his third straight start, allowing seven hits, three runs and three walks in seven innings. He struck out eight.

CARDINALS 6, BREWERS 5

MILWAUKEE — Jake Westbrook allowed one run over six innings for his 100th career win and the Cardinals held off the Brewers.

Westbrook (2-1) walked three and struck out four. The Brewers were 1 for 8 with runners in scoring position against him.

Westbrook allowed Norichika Aoki’s double to open the game and then nothing more until one out in the fourth when the Brewers pushed across a run on three consecutive singles. He struck out Alex Gonzalez and then fanned Wily Peralta (2-2), his third strikeout of the inning.

Westbrook left with a 6-1 lead for the relievers to protect, but the Brewers scored twice in the seventh, one in the eighth and one in the ninth.

PHILLIES 7, MARLINS 2

PHILADELPHIA — Ryan Howard and Domonic Brown hit solo homers to back Kyle Kendrick and the Phillies beat the Marlins.

Kendrick (3-1) allowed two runs and seven hits in seven innings to earn his ninth straight win against the Marlins, dating to May 28, 2010.

Justin Ruggiano hit a solo shot for Miami. Alex Sanabia (2-4) gave up four runs — two earned — and six hits in five innings.

PADRES 4, CUBS 2

CHICAGO — Yonder Alonso’s two-out fly ball to right field dropped in front of Julio Borbon for an RBI single that led to a four-run eighth inning and boosted the Padres over the Cubs for a four-game series split.

Travis Wood (2-2) retired his first 14 batters before Kyle Blanks singled, and he led 2-0 when Jesus Guzman reached on an infield single leading off the eighth. San Diego went ahead with just one hard-hit ball in the inning, taking advance of two infield hits, the shallow fly and a passed ball.

Joe Thatcher (2-0) pitched one-third of an inning for the win.

 

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